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Center for [email protected] Studies Director Moreno Burke Named Helen Gillespie Ferris Award Winner


Broad-based excellence in campus and community investments with specific efforts to embolden and support young women from diverse backgrounds drew recognition from the Ferris Women’s Network. Recently, the group announced Ferris State University Center for [email protected] Studies Executive Director Kaylee Moreno Burke as the 2021 Helen Gillespie Ferris Distinguished Woman Leader Award recipient.

Burke is honored and humbled to know many colleagues see her as a campus leader. Burke is a 2014 alumna of the Ferris Bachelor of Social Work Program. She reflected on the many women faculty and staff who mentored her throughout her career and instilled values of lifelong learning and mentoring those who will follow in those roles.

“I am beyond honored to be recognized so early in my career for my efforts to give back to young leaders, in both my daily work and volunteer engagements,” Burke said. ”I believe there is so much value in mentoring and uplifting others and sharing our skills and life lessons, especially for our women of color. I also am proud to volunteer my time as a mentor and adviser to the Zeta Nu chapter of Delta Zeta sorority and our local alumnae chapter, and I serve as campus adviser to Gamma Phi Omega National Sorority, Inc.”

Burke is also involved with the Latina Network of West Michigan and recently joined the Artworks board of Directors.

“I share this award with the many Latina and Indigenous women who have blazed the trail for me to be here today,” Burke said. “I am called to serve young adults in work and help to give back in ways my mentors gave, by creating new opportunities, uplifting marginalized voices, and working to shape decision making to advance equity in higher education.”

Dean of Student Life Joy Pufhal was the 2020 Helen Gillespie Ferris Distinguished Woman Leader Award recipient.

Helen Gillespie Ferris Distinguished Woman Leader Award recipients may also be the university’s nominee for the Michigan Distinguished Woman Leader in Higher Education Award, presented annually by the Michigan ACE Women’s Network.